Even the best layed plans

Before we tore apart a single thing we were going to have official plans. When we bought our house in California, we slowly did the work and came up with ideas over 6 the six years we lived there. Which led to a LOT of redoing work, which means a lot of wasted money and time. In order for us to reduce construction time and start living a normal life sooner, it was very important to us to have a plan for the remodel from the beginning.

We found an architect that we wanted to use before we even found a house we liked. Actually I found Tiek Design Group (< link to check them out) on Instagram before we even moved to Utah. I started following him because I really liked his style and his ability to turn ugly old houses into beautiful Classic American homes. So once we found the zipline house we made an appointment and had him come by the house to look at it. We started having meetings with him and making the remodel plans for the house before we even closed escrow. On his computer he had a full 3D model of our renovation which made it easy to see what we would and wouldn’t like. Not only was he a great architect, he also is a general contractor. He could have run our project as well but he wasn’t available in the time frame we needed.

Now looking back it’s funny to me because based on our last six years of experience with our house in Grover Beach I felt like I knew a lot about construction and remodel. And to some degree I did. But man did I still have a lot to learn. During our first walk through with Steve Tiek he asked us when we would like this project done by and I responded with “by Christmas would be nice” all eyes fell on me and with shock he repeated “By CHRISTMAS?!” It really didn’t seem so crazy to me, after all it was only the beginning of September. Matt then reassured him that we knew it was not going to be done by Christmas but we are trying to get it done as soon as possible. Another time when talking about our up coming remodel with someone, they told me “Make sure you plan for an extra two weeks and an extra $10,000.” I thought this guy was crazy. I was the queen of budgeting and scheduling. there was no way we were going to be off by that much. And now that the project is nearly over I can confidently say “OH MAN! Was he right.” So here I am a wise old woman ready to impart upon you some things I’ve learned in this process so far.

1. Construction always takes longer and costs more than you expected.

2. To save time and money with an architect, come up with a layout and style that you like ahead of time. Not all architects will know what the construction cost of the project you are designing will be, nor will they know what the value of the project will be if you have to get it appraised for financing. So finding an architect that has a background in construction is great, also call an appraiser to check what projects give you the most bang for your buck! (More on that process in another post)

3. Communication!! Ask questions. Now this is a big one, ask about costs and what exactly that cost gets you. Ask about their experience as a contractor. If a problem comes up ask about different ways to solve it. Regularly ask about the schedule, time frames and what the next step is.

4. Get as many bids as you can stand to get. Talk to everyone, call the people your friends are refering you to.

5. Post a sign of rules for people who come work on your house to follow. We had a BIG problem with smoking and trash being left behind. I am STILL finding buds in my grass 🤬

6. Some projects should left to the professionals 😅

7. If a contractor is telling you that you do don’t need a permit be careful, they will likely not be doing things to code.

8. If you are not living at the place where the work is being done, visit daily and ask questions!!

9. Price and quality do not always match up. Get references, and call those references. Ask them pros and cons to hiring that person. Get lots of pictures of previous work.

10. Be flexible, plans will inevitably have to change. Especially for fixing an old house or even a simple remodel. Work together with your trusted contractor to find a solution that works for your family and fits your budget.

So there is my 2 cents that you never asked for. But if you would like more information on any of this please shoot me a message!

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